Evaluating Water Permeability and Occlusion in Wound Dressings and Topical Cosmetics

Occlusion refers to covering the skin by any means of film or substance;1 this extends to wound dressings, which can be differentiated as being fully occlusive or semi-occlusive. Wounds are either covered or left exposed to air and while studies have shown that occlusion may speed the healing process of wounds faster than air exposure,2,3 completely occlusive dressings have some disadvantages, particularly when compared to semi-occlusive dressings.4 For instance, if bacteria are trapped under the wound dressing, the fully occlusive dressing provides a warm and moist environment for the bacteria to reproduce, potentially leading to infection.5

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